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Help! I want to make a web series, but where do I start?

Are you interested in producing your own web series, but have no idea where to start? 
I originally wrote this blog post in July of 2011, and while the landscape of the digital world has changed quite a bit, all of these resources are still very useful.  I’ve also added a few new things to this list in order to get it more up to date, but again, this is an older post so please take note that there is A LOT more information out there now.  This is just a good jumping off point if you are brand new to the web content world… 
I’ve been dabbling in new media since the fall of 2008.

I had never seen a web series until the summer of 2008, and it was during some web surfing while I was chillaxing and trying to get to sleep, that I found an episode of Quarterlife.

A series that I can watch in tiny easily digestible parts at the click of my mouse pad?  Fantastic!  I loved the characters, the story lines, the acting…

Then I found the first episode of 2009: A True Story.

It was gritty, artistic, and innovative. I was hooked.

Fast forward to today: July 20th, 2011…

I am a member of the IAWTV (International Academy of Web Television), and have had the privilege of working with some of the web’s top talent including Tony E. Valenzuela who was the mastermind behind 2009: A True Story and is blowing the internet wide open with Black Box TV.   While I’m still relatively new to the web world, I have completed 4 seasons (99 – soon to be 100 episodes) of my vlog which was geared towards other up and coming actors learning from my experiences while documenting my own pursuits in the entertainment industry.  I have also produced 4 different web series  in order to dip my toe into the web waters and help me be seen as a comedic actress.

My goal was to open the doors of the traditional Hollywood landscape and get my work in front of people who might not otherwise have seen it. And it worked.

Most actors dive into new media because they want to work instead of wait for the phone to ring, I was and am, no different.

Without any further ado, here is my “New Media Resource List” version 7.0

Warning: Grab a cup of coffee or a glass of wine. It’s a long one…

What is this?

This list began as a way for me to compile all of my favorite resources that I’d been accumulating over the past few years for my own research.

About a year or so ago a few friends asked me to help them understand the world of the web series, so I shared this with them.

Note:  There is a TON of info out there, this is just my list of favorite resources/information etc…


A couple of good places to start:

“Web Television for Dummies” by Daryn Strauss

A good article on the beginning of web tv for actors/those new to the medium:

International Academy of Web Television:

A place to learn the “how tos”:

New Media News:

Web Blogs/Podcasts etc…:

New Mediacracy:

Digital Chick TV – Daryn Strauss:

Liz Shannon Miller from NewTeeVee:

Indie Intertube:


Web content creator blogs: 
Mark Gantt:

Bernie Su:

Taryn O Neill:

Felicia Day:

Taryn Southern:

Jenni Powell:

Blake Calhoun:


Collaborative Communitites:


Raising money to fund your project:


from Kristyn Burtt of The Web Files:

good stuff to know…

3 Tips for Producing a Red Carpet Event:

Guide to PR


Meet Ups/Festivals/Competitions/Awards Shows/good places to network:

FilmBreak Mixers:

Big Screen Little Screen: 



Streamy Awards


LA Web Fest

SXSW: South By Southwest

Webby Awards:

New York Television Festival Independent Pilot Competition


New Media Film Festival:

New Media Vault:


New Media distribution/listing channels to see what’s going on online:


Great shows to watch:


The Lizzie Bennet Diaries:

Burning Love:

Black Box TV:

One Shot (Freddie W short):

Mortal Combat: Legacy (Machinima):

Bite Me – The Gamer’s Apocalypse Series (Machinima):


The Ladies and the Gents: 

2009 A True Story:

Harper’s Globe:

Dr. Horrible:


The Guild:


The Bannen Way:

Odd Jobs: 


Epic Fu: 


Angel of Death:



Camera Obscura:

Prom Queen:


Dirty Bomb Diaries:

Apocalypse Wow:

The Best Friend:

Man Teen:


Subway Sessions:

After Judgment:

Urban Wolf:



The Temp Life:

Private High Musical:


Kevin Pollak’s Chat Show:

Web Therapy:



 tips on “serial web content” (from the livestream chat on during  “Digital Day” Sunday, November 28th, 2010):

1.     Hook them (the audience) from the first moment of the first episode

2.     Get them to “trust you” ie) have a good product

3.     Leave them wanting more so they’ll tune in next week

4.     Write for the “act break”

5.     What is your brand? Who is your audience? Target and write for them.

6.     Facebook fan page, twitter, blog etc…and make sure to build buzz long before you release online

7.     Do you want to delve into the world of branded entertainment? If so, think about being “advertiser friendly”… if you are going for hard “R” content it might be difficult later on b/c a lot of brands are worried about their image

8.     Don’t over extend yourself (financially or otherwise) on your first project. Keep it simple and small and build your team from there. No rush to be J.J. Abrams yet 😉

9.     FYI: The people making money for the web space are the people that have already created projects.  Put something out there that is good that you can be proud of, and opportunities will follow.


Now go and make stuff!


Helenna Santos-Levy

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED in “Helenna’s Blog” July 20th, 2011



Helenna Santos

About Helenna Santos

Helenna Santos is the Founder and Editor-In-Chief of Ms. In The Biz. She is also an actor, writer and producer with Mighty Pharaoh Films and can often be found on panels at conventions such as San Diego Comic-Con, and has been interviewed by major press outlets including CNN. Her work as a contributing writer has been featured in MovieMaker Magazine, Backstage Magazine, IndieWire and BUST Magazine. She has produced numerous award winning short films and digital series, and her latest project the feature film “At Your Own Risk” is now available on iTunes and Amazon.